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Author Topic: Southampton Rest Camp  (Read 618 times)
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John
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« on: October 22, 2013, 17:17:52 PM »

Southampton Rest Camp took up the bulk of The Common throughout WWI. Below is a plan from 1915 and some photographs of a similar date.

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Southampton Rest Camp - guard house.JPG
Southampton Rest Camp - looking south.JPG
Southampton Rest Camp - plan.JPG
Southampton Rest Camp - sleeping hut.JPG
Southampton Rest Camp - view from The Avenue.JPG
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John
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2013, 17:24:01 PM »

The camp expanded greatly during the latter years of the war, and was a major US transit camp. Here's a photograph taken in September 1918 and a plan from the same year..

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Southampton Rest Camp - US soldiers.jpg
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cjcoops
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2017, 10:34:40 AM »

Thank you for putting these photos on line. My grandfather Charles Cooper was enlisted into the newly formed R.E. 5th Labour Battalion on the 19th August 1915 and along with 1200 other inexperienced men gathered together on Southampton Common and were given bell tents from the rest camp to pitch on the adjacent grass plains for their week long processing into soldiers without arms but readied to ship out to France. I wonder if you have any photos of them or tents on the grassland. I am lucky in as much as his Battalion along with the 8th have their war diaries from this first meeting through to May 1917 available in the national archives.
They were then dispersed and reenlisted into 704 Labour Corp while still in France (Flanders). No records where kept from then till the end of the war. So sites like yours are invaluable for research. Any more information you might be able to lead me to would be gratefully received.
Regards Chris. Cooper
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Markh
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2018, 20:34:12 PM »

I know this is a old post but once again thank you for these photos , I found this page by a internet search after researching my great great Grandfather who also served with the 5th Labour Battalion R.E. His name was Walter Town , unfortunately he was killed 17/11/1915 whilst working on the Dickebusch road and is buried in the Divsional Cemetry west of Ypres. The war diary is a great resource and I’ve managed to follow in the 5th battalion and in particular D companies footsteps and to have gained  a better understanding of the labour battalions important and dangerous role. It would be great if anyone had any more pictures of the camp or the grasslands around the time or any pointers to find some resource.

Thank you
Mark h
Lest we forget
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cjcoops
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2018, 07:44:32 AM »

Hello Mark. Unusual to find someone researching grandfather's from the 5th Labour Battalion RE. This Rest camp was a very good find. My grandfather was in C Company name Pioneer Charles Cooper. He survived the war and I have remembered him on the "livesofthefirstworldwar" website that will be archived at the end of the centenary period and made available for free to researchers on the IWM website. Perhaps you might feel like registering for free and creating your great grandfather's time line. It's a great opportunity to permanently remember him. My grandfather regimental number was his Labour Corps one 292040. It will give you an idea of what you can put on it. Walter Town's name was not recorded, just the fact that he was a Corporal.
Chris

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